British Council Unveils “The Code of Life” at Science Alive 2014
Inspiring students to learn about science through interactive activities
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA structure, the British Council is organising the annual Science Alive programme with the theme “The Code of Life” this year from today to 21 March 2014. Leading UK science academics and communicators are invited to Hong Kong to uncover the mysteries of biology to the public.
Science Alive is jointly organised by the British Council, the Education Bureau (EDB), the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Education City Limited and sponsored by The Croucher Foundation. Every year, for the past 21 years, Science Alive invites leading UK academics and communicators in various fields of science to engage Hong Kong’s students, teachers and the public in activities that promote a wider understanding of science and inspire them for creative ideas.
“The Science Alive 2014 includes a series of activities which allow participants to interact with UK science communicators. These activities are also linked to the science curriculum for the primary and secondary syllabi,” said Sophia Chan-Combrink, Head of Education and Society at the British Council. “We want to bring the message to students that they can learn beyond the classroom and in another kind of format, like drama, drop-in activities and various exhibitions, to bring an inter-disciplinary learning experience.”
“Experiential learning is important to arouse students’ interest as it creates an opportunity for them to engage and to apply their academic learning through hands-on experiences. Therefore, the events are interactive so that children can feel, try, examine and learn all about biology,” added Chan-Combrink.
Here are some Event Highlights of the “Science Alive 2014”:
- Family days with drop-in activities: UK science communicators from the Society of Biology and the University of Edinburgh conduct various drop-in activities during the weekends of Science Alive for children to learn science through games, including making a genetic blueprint for a dog, genome game and life through a lens series. There are also balloon-twisting clowns, bubble artists and face printers to enhance the children’s learning.
- Science drama shows and science walkabout shows: Children can learn more about the secret of human body through featuring video footage of people’s insides in the “It Takes Guts” drama shows; the ecological crisis facing marine life due to excessive fishing, the importance of coral reefs, food chain and human relations in the “Mr Shark’s Coral Café” drama shows and walkabout showsrespectively.
- Teacher and student workshops: Children can meet four scientists from UK and discover that each one has a theory. The scientists prove their theory and help children to perform their own experiments to prove or disprove it and brings cell biology to life, e.g. Whose DNA?, Blood, Bruise and ooze, Slime time and Life through a lens. The workshops linked with school curriculum, it aims at encouraging teachers and students to conduct scientific research outside the classroom.
- Science interactive lectures:Four scientists from Universities in UK and Hong Kong host the lectures and sharing their research and studies in several topics including (1) Genetic Identification of The Richard III (2) The Biology of Superheroes (3) Biological Diversity under Global Environmental Change (4) The Number Mysteries.
- Student debate: This year, Students from Hong Kong schools debating the motion “Biodiversity has an intrinsic value that is worth protecting and not just because it benefits humans”.
- FameLab Hong Kong Grand Final: The FameLab competition aims to find the most talented science communicators in Hong Kong. Contestants will share a scientific topic in an exciting topic in an exciting, captivating and innovative way in three minutes, in order to inspire and excite public imagination.The winner will be representing Hong Kong to join the UK international final contest. The Hong Kong Grand Final will be organised at the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum on 15 March 2014.
- Science hands-on exhibition: Seven exhibits from Science Work from the UK with the topicsincluding Life Works, Skeleton hand, Human torso, Key, Animal vision, Fossil find, Body parts and Balance will be displayed to introduce young children to the wonders of biology.
Leading speakers and facilitators from the UK include:
- Dr Turi King – Female lecturer of the University of Leicester who specialises in human DNA. She has led the research team to analyse the DNA of the remains of Richard III.
- Dr Nathalie Pettorelli – Female scientist of the Zoological Society of London, whose research focuses on climate change.
- Dr Christopher See – Current PhD candidate of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong. He graduated from the University of Cambridge and has taught at the University of Manchester. He is the winner of the online vote award of FameLab 2013 global final.